Evaluation gives De La Rosa high marks

SAN BENITO — City Manager Manuel De La Rosa has scored high marks on his long-awaited evaluation.

After about six months of attempts, city commissioners conducted a 35-minute evaluation that gave De La Rosa “above-satisfactory” marks on his job performance Thursday night.

Under his contract, above-satisfactory evaluations lead to annual $5,000 pay increases.

“The evaluation provided an opportunity for the city commission to examine my successes and shortcomings and to determine what they wish me to pursue on behalf of the city,” De La Rosa stated yesterday.

“This appraisal offered a valuable opportunity to focus on work activities and goals, to identify and correct existing problems as well as to encourage better future performance on my part,” he stated.

Next, commissioners are expected to present their goals to De La Rosa, Commissioner Esteban Rodriguez said.

“This process allowed the commission to clearly communicate to me exactly what they expect and want,” De La Rosa said. “Our elected officials know that the needs of the city often change over time and priorities are therefore likely to shift over time.”

Rodriguez said his goals include identifying funding to repair streets, upgrading sewer lift stations and construction of a swimming pool.

After two years on the job, the evaluation marked De La Rosa’s second, city spokeswoman Martha McClain stated.

McClain stated commissioners gave De La Rosa “above-satisfactory” ratings when they conducted his first evaluation in November 2016.

Last year, four city agendas called for commissioners to discuss De La Rosa’s evaluation.

However, commissioners chose not to conduct it, McClain stated.

In December 2015, De La Rosa was hired at a salary of $95,000.

A year later, commissioners approved a contract running through January 2020 which set De La Rosa’s salary at $110,000.

That contract states “above-satisfactory” evaluations lead to annual $5,000 pay increases.

Rodriguez said he and Commissioner Tony Gonzales voted against approving the contract.

De La Rosa’s current salary lags behind the average salary of city managers of cities with populations similar to those of San Benito, McClain stated.

According to the Texas Municipal League, city managers in like-sized cities draw average salaries of $154,000.

Second evaluation

“Above-satisfactory” rating

$5,000 pay increase pending

Current salary — $110,000